Black Beans

This bean has a dense, meaty texture, which makes it popular in vegetarian dishes.

How to Select

Choose dried beans or canned beans that are low in sodium. Avoid shriveled or broken beans.

How to Store

Dried black beans can be stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry place up to 1 year. Keep canned beans at room temperature and use by the date on the can.

How to Prepare

Pick through the beans and discard any shriveled or unappealing beans. Cover the beans with a few inches of water and leave them on the counter. The next day, the beans will have absorbed much of the water and nearly doubled in size. Drain the beans from their soaking water and rinse them gently under water. Transfer the beans into a heavy cooking pot. Cover the beans with an inch of water. Bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and bring the beans to a very gentle simmer. You should barely see the water moving. Leave the lid off for firm beans meant for cold salads and pasta dishes. Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar for creamier beans for soups, casseroles, and burritos. Cook the beans for one hour, and then begin checking for doneness. Depending on their age, size, and variety, beans can take anywhere from an hour to three hours to cook through. Add more water as needed to keep the beans submerged, and stir occasionally.